The Good Rain

"A celebration of natural bounty, a warning that too much has been lost...Egan is a worthy spokesman for his homeland, a fluent and crafty writer."

-Los Angeles Times

The classic book on the Northwest, consistently voted one of the 10 essential books about the region.  The author follows a ghost, Theodore Winthrop, who wrote the first national book about the Northwest in the 1850s.  That journey went by horseback and canoe. The modern jaunt goes by kayak, hoof, plane,  Coast Guard life raft and car to explore the natural and human wonder at the far edge of the continent.

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award

What People are Saying


“When it comes to this spectacularly mildewed corner of the American linoleum, Timothy Egan gets it right. Then he fords another rain puddle, throws another clam on the fire, and gets it right again.” 

-Tom Robbins


“A fantastic book! Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.”


“Egan succeeds in capturing the richness and beauty of the Pacific Northwest (and its possibly imminent destruction) with rich description, appropriately chosen and reported interviews, and visits to exactly the places I would have chosen for such a book. From manicured gardens in essentially English Vancouver, B.C., to Indian reservations in western Washington, to the proud rural communities in eastern Washington, and visits to the precipitous peaks and brooding volcanos of the Cascade Mountains, Egan captures the presences and peoples of this region more effectively than most any other book I have encountered. Highly Recommended.”


“The Pacific Northwest, with its giant trees, fascinating coastline, mighty Columbia River, and not-always-dormant volcanoes, has inspired a number of personal narratives. In this book, reminiscent of Ivan Doig’s Winter Brothers ( LJ 10/15/80), New York Times reporter Egan interweaves personal experiences and conversations with observations of nature and historical information. He travels through Washington, Oregon, and southern Vancouver, following the route taken by an earlier traveler, Theodore Winthrop, 150 years ago. A conservationist ethic pervades the book; Egan discusses major problems such as the cutting of the forests. A nicely done narrative for the general reader.” 

-Library Journal

Buy the book